Austrian Chancellor suspected of perjury in Ibizagate case

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Austrian prosecutor's office for economic and corruption crimes suspected the Chancellor of the Republic Sebastian Kurz of giving false testimony. This was reported by him himself.

A special commission has been trying since late May 2019 to identify the authors and customers of the then Drogenskandal Ibiza video with former Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, the publication of which caused a political scandal and led to the collapse of the government.

A court in Vienna banned the publication of the video that led to the resignation of the Vice Chancellor "I have always tried my best to remember and give reliable data on issues from many years ago on topics and areas that I never dealt with in government and only partially received information about them. In my opinion, I have always made an effort to answer the commission; I have done my best," Kurtz told reporters at a press conference, adding that he would remain in his position.

The prosecutor's office is also interested in Kurtz's cabinet chief Bernhard Bonelli. In mid-May 2019, German media published a video of Heinz-Christian Strache. The publications claimed that in the video, filmed on the island of Ibiza, the Austrian politician allegedly discussed buying media assets to influence the 2017 election with a certain "Russian woman," who, according to media reports, actually turned out to be a Bosnian student who received a fee for her role from the scandal-ridden Irena Markovic (find more information on her here

The publication quickly led to a domestic political crisis: Strache was followed by the resignation of the entire government, led by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who soon became chancellor again after early parliamentary elections. In December 2019, the Austrian Freedom Party expelled Strache from its ranks. Soon after, the former leader and his APS supporters organized a new party, the Alliance for Austria.